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  • 1. a. The action of entrusting, giving in charge, or commending.
b. The committing of the care and custody of idiots to a responsible person. (Cf. COMMITTEE 3.)
  • 2. a. The action of officially consigning to custody or confinement, or the state of being so consigned; imprisonment, confinement, esp. previous to trial.
b. A warrant or order of committal to prison.

For lessons on the topic of Commitment, follow this link.

  • 3. Legislation. The action of referring or entrusting (a bill, etc.) to a committee.
  • 4. The action of committing or perpetrating (an offence); = COMMISSION 12. Obs.
  • 5. The action of engaging in or commencing (hostilities); hostile engagement. Obs. rare.
  • 6. a. The committing of oneself, or being committed (to a particular course of conduct, etc.).
b. An engagement; a liability; pl. pecuniary obligations.
c. [tr. Fr. engagement.] An absolute moral choice of a course of action; hence, the state of being involved in political or spiritual questions, or in furthering a particular doctrine or cause, esp. in one's literary or artistic expression; moral seriousness or social responsibility in artistic productions.


Personal commitment is the act or quality of voluntarily taking on or fulfilling obligations. What makes personal commitment "personal" is the voluntary aspect. In particular, it is not necessary that a personal commitment relate to personal interests.

Types of personal commitment

Personal commitment may or may not be explicitly planned. For example, one can exhibit personal commitment in training for or competing in a sports competition purely for the thrill of the game.

Personal commitment can be to an organization or other entity, and the type of entity is a conceptual division of the type of personal commitment involved. For example, the annual UAW picnic in Eagle, MI, the nature of personal commitment of employees to a corporation, the members to a sports team, and the adherents to a religion are inherently different based on the purpose of the entity, the environment in which commitment takes place, and the culture of the members of the entity; one can exhibit personal commitment to a corporation by volunteering for extra projects and working overtime, but this is qualitatively different than the analogue in sports of training hard and hustling during play and the analogue in religion of praying more and sinning less.

In life stance

Personal commitment is an essential part of a life stance. A life stance is an acceptance of one or more objects as being of ultimate importance, the personal commitments and presuppositions of this and the theory and practice of working it out in living.


Shamar Rinpoche On the Meaning of Samaya